This edition has Writing as its theme and thus completes the quartet of language skills which began with Reading in Winter 2006. In classroom practice, writing cannot easily be detached from the other players; nevertheless it still remains the method though which most learners will be formally assessed and thus in education fields it has an inflated value. In addition, the ability to express thoughts in clear prose or lucid verse is still highly valued by most communities in our multilingual world. Writing well is powerful.
Why is writing so hard to teach and so hard to write about? Is it because it is something we all find difficult to do, something that is learnt not acquired? Few of us have a clear memory of learning to speak or listen in our first language; it is something we acquire with little thought. Reading, perhaps, we remember learning, and in some cases struggling over. I have distant recollections of Janet and John and the Ladybird books of the 60s. But learning to write I remember labouring over almost every step of the way. I still have the corrected essays, the teachers’ red ink, ‘remember full stops and capital letters’ …’ where are your paragraphs?’ and I can pin point to the day when I learnt to use a semi colon correctly. Learning to write has been etched in my conscious memory.
Editorial (page 2)
View from the Chair (page 3)
Policy, Practice and Research
Reply to Research Issue – Complexity Theory and EAL (page 4)
Developing writing among Advanced Bilingual Learners in secondary schools (page 6)
Enrichment Project on Raising the Achievement of Advanced EAL learners (page 11)
Sandra Davis and Andy Harvey
Multi-modal literacies: Developing the ‘Talking Pen’ to meet the distinctive needs of students learning English as an Additional Language (page 13)
Refugee Children Update (page 16)
NALDIC News (page 18)
Reviews (page 21)
Resources (page 25)
Websites (page 27)